'America's Next Top Model': Tatianna says she's not morbid
“I might have got the morbid edit,” Tatianna, 21, says. “I’m really happy and I don’t know why they painted me so dark. I mean it’s just a career path. It hasn’t really affected my personality. I know you have to have a certain personality to be actually interested in it, but I’m a happy person.”
We talked to Tatianna about why she was eliminated, whether Nigel holds grudges and whom she thinks will win “Top Model.”
Tyra said after several shoots that you consistently had only one usable photo. Did that confuse you?
Yeah, actually it was really confusing to me. Judging from the feedback from Mr. Jay, he was like, 'Oh, this looks really good’ and ‘I really like this shot.’ So when she would come on and say, ‘All your photos are bad except for this one,’ well, that’s not according to what Jay was saying. But it’s her ultimately who decides. She’s the one who knows. But I was just confused in general, because his feedback was just positive. So when she gave the negative feedback, I’d wonder who I’m supposed to be listening to.
It seems like Tyra and Jay talk after the photo shoots. Don’t you think he would have told her he liked your shoot?
I definitely think they talk. He tells them that, ‘Oh, this girl had a really weak photo shoot, she’s not as confident,’ but I think even with his feedback, she does her own thing. Like she looks at the photo and even though Jay might love it, she can say, ‘Oh, I don’t like these photos.’ I think she takes his opinion into consideration, but ultimately comes up with her own.
You seem pretty passionate about being a medical examiner. Did you ever want to model?
Actually no. I wasn’t even going to go out for the competition. Someone begged me. So I didn’t even know the audition was taking place. So when he asked me to do it, I was like all right, I’ll go try it out. And when I actually got on the show, I was like, 'Oh God, where does this even come from.' But going through it is a whole different scene from going to school and studying. So it’s a whole different feeling and I liked it.
Can you tell me about insulting Nigel Barker in the male model challenge?
It was so funny. They really hyped it up. He’s a male model and he’s really big in the world. I was so nervous to see this male model and then you get on the tram and Nigel turns around. And you’re like, it’s just Nigel [laughs]. So I felt really comfortable. I was immediately happy and relieved it was just Nigel. Even though he was a judge, he’s going to talk to you like anyone else. So I talked to him like I’d talk to anyone. When I see him and I notice he’s wearing bright orange socks and green shoes, I was like, 'Nigel, what are you wearing?' [laughs] It was funny to me.
Did that come back to haunt you?
The only thing he said to me was ‘You’re so mean.’ It didn’t come back. He wasn’t harsh on me later.
How did you feel going into your last photo shoot?
The styling and the costume I actually thought was really nice, and actually the place where we were was really interesting. But I didn’t really feel confident. I didn’t know why. Right when we started the shoot, I thought this was not going to be good for me. I felt my confidence drop and I think it shows in the photos. So I wasn’t particularly surprised by how it turned out. All throughout the shoot, I felt this is not working for me. I’m actually feeling devastated inside myself.
What did it feel like when you were in the bottom two and Tyra was telling you why you’re there?
My heart was like in my throat. It was beating really hard. I felt like my chest hurt. When I get nervous, my hands get cold. So that was all going through me. But being next to Alexandra and knowing how she did on her shoot and how I did on my shoot, I was just hoping they’d keep Alexandra. I know she was really confident in her own shoot. And I thought, 'Well, if she’s so confident and I know I was devastated in mine, she should be the one that stays here.'
Who are your top three picks for the win?
I really love Krista. I really love Alexandra and Jessica. Those are definitely my top three. Jessica is so personable and she has such a good look. Alexandra has a really good personality and it shows through in her photos. And Krista has that structure. They keep raving about it, and for good reason.
— Jethro Nededog (follow me on Twitter @TheRealJethro)
Bottom photo: Judge Nigel Barker and Tatianna in last week’s male model challenge. Credit: Eric Liebowitz / The CW